"Gentle, inspiring, and important... for parents looking to quell children's fears, support their dreams, and allow them room to grow." – Kirkus Reviews
"When we went to a beach,
my tummy felt tight.I really wanted to try,
but it still felt wrong inside.
Perhaps I'd swim – next time."
At first the big blue sea makes them feel small and scared. Then the child visits a lake and a river, and their fear of water gradually starts to ebb as curiosity begins to flow.
A wonderful book for any child who is feeling nervous about new experiences, with lyrical words by Emily Joof and bold, dynamic illustrations by Matilda Ruta.
Emily Joof is an African-diaspora author, education expert and mom. She writes children's books with a focus on inclusion and diversity, including I Will Swim Next Time and Halima, Superhero Princess. Her books have been translated into Swedish, French and Wolof. Born in Nigeria, Emily now divides her time between the Gambia, the UK and Sweden.
Asa Gilland is a Swedish illustrator and designer. She has a background in interior design and brings her love of texture and to her illustrations. Asa's picture books include This is Our World, A Grandma's Magic and Letters to Live By: An Alphabet Book with Intention. She has lived in Indonesia for over 20 years.
Matilda Ruta is an illustrator and author based in Stockholm, Sweden. She has written and illustrated many books for children, and has been nominated for the Elsa Beskow Plaque and the August Award.
'Lyrical and uplifting text combined with gorgeous artwork masterfully tells a story of a young child struggling in a new environment and eventually gaining self-confidence and friendship of others.' — School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW
'Gentle, inspiring, and important� The story offers a model for parents looking to quell children's fears, support their dreams, and allow them room to grow. Given that many swimming pools have historically excluded African American communities and that Black children face an elevated risk of drowning, a narrative that spotlights a Black family reveling in the water is especially welcome.' —Kirkus Reviews
'This quiet, gentle book perfectly encapsulates the hesitations of many children around water, by honoring their emotions and process. The lovely ink and watercolor art creates lovely watery scenes that are so inviting.' —Youth Services Book Review
'A fun and effective picture book for any child who is feeling nervous about new experiences.' —Midwest Book Review
'What I love is both the expressions on the characters and the art itself. This book is undoubtedly a keeper.' —School Library Journal
'A vibrant and inviting picture book about a child gradually facing a fear of water, with lush art and a nuanced narrative.' —Green Light Bookstore, Holiday Pick 2023
'A boldly illustrated book that will resonate with anyone who's ever felt a bit of fear towards water... The theme of persistence, taking time to feel right about a decision and especially the understanding the mom demonstrates is heartening and refreshing. The illustrations pair well with the gentle words and certainly display a loving relationship. A good addition for any collection to build diverse character representation in everyday stories.' — Puget Sound Council for Reviewing Children's and Young Adult Literature